Turkey Wellington

Not everyone feels like handling an entire 20 lb. bird for Thanksgiving – if you’re just cooking for yourself or a few other special someones, that’s a lot of leftovers!  Or maybe it’s mid August and you want all the deliciousness of Thanksgiving without the 5 day pumpkin spice latte infused extravaganza.  Whatever the case, this holiday spin on a rustic dish is sure to please and wow even the pickiest of turkey gobblers.  The classic technique is a bit tricky, but the reward is SO worth it!

DSCN0566Turkey Wellington!
serves 10

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Grilled Asian Pork Chops

In my house, pork chops are a twice weekly affair – we just can’t get enough of them! I’m always looking for new ways to prepare them, and a few months ago I had a hankering for Chinese food and some pork chops in the freezer. And so, this recipe was born… my second favorite pork chop preparation ever (behind my mom’s pork chops and mushroom gravy, of course, but that’s for another day)!

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photo credit goes to illustrious pork chop photographer/personal assistant Mike Prez!

Grilled Asian Pork Chops!
serves 4

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Rosemary-Lemon Crusted Wild Salmon with Maple Glaze

A chill is in the air… it’s almost down to the 50s here in the sunshine state!  What better way to celebrate “cold” weather with a hearty, healthy meal of delicious cold water fish? Wild salmon has a higher fat content which makes it deliciously moist and chock full of omega-3’s.  You get the best benefits and most intense flavor from leaving the skin on, and when baked on a cedar plank, this swimmer really soars to new heights. I served this with lemon-maple green beans and wild rice – the nutty/sweet flavors really complimented the glaze well, and kicked the health factor up a notch.

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Rosemary-Lemon Crusted Wild Salmon with Maple Glaze!
serves 2

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Garam Masala Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Maple-Tamarind Glaze

It’s no secret by now that I love Indian food.  While Murg Makhani/Butter Chicken (recipe here) is my favorite Indian meal, sometimes I feel like dressing something up in a pretty little package.  Whenever I want to add a little pizazz to a meal I’d usually make with chicken, I immediately think of Cornish Game Hen.  It’s perfectly proportioned, flavorful, and damn cute on a plate.  While watching one of my LOVES Bobby Flay on Food Network…

seriously!? THAT FACE

I was pleasantly surprised to see him deviating from his usual TexMex type cooking (which is BOMB by the way) and cooking up something with a little Indian flair.  I immediately wrote the recipe down and decided to give it a try – and I’m glad I did!  If you want a delicious, fancy shmancy Indian inspired meal, why don’t you try…

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Garam Masala Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Maple-Tamarind Glaze!
serves 4

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Turkish Chicken Kabobs

I think it’s no secret at this point that I love ethnic food, ESPECIALLY if it’s spicy.  Something about the belly-warming feeling of a hot meal with a good amount of spice really gets my mouth watering.  I also love grilling – screw that preconception that men are supposed to be the grillers!  There really isn’t anything better than – or anything that can be a substitute for – the smoky, charred flavors a grill can provide.

Since we’re going to be saying goodbye to summer in a month or so – or rather, many of you readers are, because Florida is perpetually in a state of summer – I decided to post this amazing little meal up while you still have some sunshine and warm days to enjoy it with.  Plus, what’s more fun than eating food on a stick?

just don't poke yourself

just don’t poke yourself

Turkish Chicken Kabobs!
serves 3

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Campanelle with Chicken, Mushrooms and Basil-Vodka Sauce

Sometimes you just gotta have pasta.  While I haven’t been a huge pasta fan, I discovered vodka sauce a while back and started to understand what all the fuss was about.  I’m not ashamed to admit it: if you add alcohol to it, I’ll probably love anything.  With this quick little recipe I cooked up (no pun intended) you’re sure to love it too!

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Campanelle with Chicken, Mushrooms and Basil-Vodka Sauce!
serves 4-6

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Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with Herb Parmesan Chicken Wings

Comfort food – it’s called that for a reason. Macaroni and cheese is a childhood staple that, when altered correctly, can satisfy all those blue-boxed memories with some grownup flair: adding chicken wings makes the meal stay kid friendly while being a little more well-rounded for us kids-at-heart.  You won’t even have to hide the box when company comes over – and they will once they smell what’s cookin’.

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nothing’s better than toasty cheese

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with Herbed Parmesan Chicken Wings!
serves 4

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Indian Murgh Makhani/Butter Chicken

Cue the Bollywood music and don your brightest sari, kiddies – we’re headed to one of my most favorite culinary locales for today’s post!  I can hardly go a month without desiring that wonderful tummy-warming spicy garlicky deliciousness, filling every fiber of my being with the need to feed untillll… I go broke.  Ordering any kind of food, but ESPECIALLY Indian food, is NOT cheap; especially if you like to mix all sorts of different flavors together when you order.  And if you have an obsession bordering on psychotic for garlic naan.  So what’s the solution?

I had tried cooking my favorite dish, murgh makhani (or butter chicken for the lingually challenged) before and it did not turn out AT ALL like I wanted, or like it should have.  I chalked it up to my lack of a tandoor/clay oven, although after a quick search on Amazon I just realized this thing is not very expensive:

Well, there goes more of my paycheck.

Anyway, it IS possible to get that delicious flavor without a clay oven.  The trick was concocting the right recipe with the best flavor profile.  Not to toot my own horn, but I think this recipe is pretty damn bomb.  Toot, toot.

Niagara falls in my mouth

Niagara falls in my mouth

Murgh Makhani!
serves 4 hungry hippos

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Garlic and Rosemary Crusted Lamb Chops

If you’re a vegetarian, look away now!  This post is not for you.  Despite one half-hearted 3 year attempt at curbing my appetite for the furry (NEVER become a vegetarian for a boyfriend…), I just can’t resist a deliciously carnivorous meal.  Lamb chops are hands down my favorite meat-and-potatoes affair.  I love the gamey flavor, the simplicity of preparation and the satisfaction of nibbling on those little bones – mmm, disturbing and delicious.  While they are a pretty simple thing to whip up, I realize many people don’t know how to properly cook the little buggers.  While there really isn’t a WRONG way to prepare them, simpler is generally better.  If you want to dress your lamb up in a little more than just salt and pepper, this recipe is for you.

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Garlic and Rosemary Crusted Lamb Chops!
serves 4

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Horseradish Crusted Salmon Fillets

Once in a blue moon I crave fish.  I’m really not a fish lover… the only two types of fish I (rarely) will eat are tuna – seared rare of course – and salmon.  I’ve enjoyed a chilean sea bass or two (aka Patagonian Toothfish – ohh marketing) but due to its environmental price I try to steer clear of it.  That being said, the usual chicken, pork, and steak dinners can get a bit dull and, just as at my alma mater, sometimes you have to throw a fish or two into the mix.

I’ll be honest here – one of the main reasons I don’t venture into cooking fish often is that I really just don’t know how.  I put some research into this next recipe, though, and it paid off – it was delicious and flavorful with a super crispy skin.  Not so bad for a piscatory diversion from the norm!

crispy flaky fishy forn

Horseradish Crusted Salmon Fillets!
serves 2

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